Sunday, December 1, 2013

1998 NHL Waiver Draft

The 1998 NHL Waiver Draft was held October 5. The expansion Nashville Predators were given the first choice in the draft order and participated with the non-playoff teams in the first round.

PlayerPicked byPicked fromPlayer dropped
from protected list
Cash or claim?
Round 1
Zdeno CigerNashville PredatorsEdmonton Oilers???cash
Brent GilchristTampa Bay LightningDetroit Red Wings???cash
Pascal TrepanierMighty Ducks of AnaheimColorado Avalanche???cash
Dennis BonvieChicago BlackhawksEdmonton Oilers???cash
Kevin DahlToronto Maple LeafsSt. Louis Blues???cash
Round 2
Frédéric ChabotMontreal CanadiensLos Angeles Kings???cash
Maxim GalanovPittsburgh PenguinsNew York Rangers???cash
Round 3
Rory FitzpatrickBoston BruinsSt. Louis Blues???cash
Kip MillerPittsburgh PenguinsNew York Islanders???cash

Boston's third round pick, Rory Fitzpatrick, was a weird one. I don't know why it even happened. After the draft Boston put Fitzpatrick on waivers and he was claimed by his former team, the St. Louis Blues. Rory Fitzpatrick was a Bruin for all of two days in the autumn of 1998.

This isn't relevant to the '98 Waiver Draft but my favourite story about Rory surrounded the 2007 All-Star Game. By 2006 the NHL had created an online voting system so that the fans could choose the twelve starting players. In the 2006-07 season they allowed the fans to vote as many times as they wanted. Some fans felt that that sort of system was ridiculous and would only lead to stuffing the proverbial ballot boxes so they hatched a plan to protest the system. They would campaign to vote in a relatively unknown, unheralded player. A player who arguably wouldn't deserve to be on the team.

They picked Rory Fitzpatrick.

Ultimately Fitzpatrick ended up third in Western Conference voting for defencemen therefore he wasn't named to the Western Conference All-Star team. Slate magazine suspected that the NHL itself tampered with the voting system in the last week of the campaign to ensure that Fitzpatrick didn't get enough votes. I suspect we'll never really know.

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